ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN Comparison

ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN: Speed, Streaming & Torrenting Comparison in 2021

Are you looking for a vpn that will enable you access the internet with great connection speeds?

Even though connection speeds are expected to drop a little whenever you connect to the internet using a vpn, some vpns are able to deliver faster connection speeds than others.

ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN are some of the vpns that stand out when it comes to vpns with fast speeds.

In this ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN today, we are going to compare these two vpns to find out which one delivers better speeds than the other.

I hope that by the end of this PrivateVPN vs ExpressVPN review you’ll be able to choose between either ExpressVPN or PrivateVPN.

We’ll compare these two vpns along the lines of the streaming capabilities, torrenting support and speeds.

So let’s get started.

Here is a quick summary.

StreamingNetflix, Hulu, Amazon, iPlayerNetflix, Hulu, Amazon, iPlayer
TorrentingAll serversP2P servers
Kill SwitchYESYES
Works in China?YESYES
Pricing$ 8.32/month$ 2.55/month


ExpressVPN is a VPN service provider based in the British Virgin Islands that enables you to browse the internet securely and anonymously.

Check out my detailed review of ExpressVPN.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, is a VPN services provider based in Sweden that provides you with secure internet access and the ability to access geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix.

Click here for a detailed PrivateVPN review.

Server Collection

The more servers a vpn has the more options you’ll have when it comes to choosing a server to connect to.

It is also common that when there are more servers, you tend to get better connection speeds as there will be less load on each server.

ExpressVPN, at the time of writing this PrivateVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison, has a collection of 3,000 servers that are spread over 94 different countries.

PrivateVPN, however, has a very small collection of servers… only numbering 150 servers based in 60 different countries.

Clearly, PrivateVPN is a very small vpn company.

ExpressVPN out numbers  PrivateVPN servers by a multiple of 20x.

If you are looking for a vpn with a larger coverage and will give you more server options when connecting to the internet then I recommend ExpressVPN.


Because streaming entertainment content online is the main reason people purchase vpns, it is important to know if your vpn will be able to unblock this content before you commit yourself to plan with them.

Will be able to stream video content on platforms like Netflix using either ExpressVPN or PrivateVPN.

ExpressVPN is able to unblock Netflix for the various countries like the US, UK, Brazil and Japan.

In addition to Netflix, you’ll also be able to streaming content on other platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer.

PrivateVPN, in the other side is able to unblock various Netflix video libraries in different countries.

It will also enable you to watch content on other platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.

Clearly, both ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN have excellent streaming capabilities that are a match for each other.

If you are looking for a vpn that will enable you unblock entertainment content on most of the streaming platforms then either PrivateVPN or ExpressVPN is a great option for you.


How does ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN compete in terms of speed?

I started this vpn comparison by mentioning that vpn speeds is one of the strengths of these two vpns.

But which one is actually faster than the other?

I tested the connection speeds of both PrivateVPN and ExpressVPN by connecting to three different servers based in the US, UK and Hong Kong.

Then I used by Ookla to test for ping, download and upload speeds before and after connecting to the servers.

Here is what I found out.

ExpressVPN maintained an average of 87% of my original download speeds on all the servers I connected to.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, delivered an average download speed of 86% of my original download speed.

As you can see both ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN take on each other, neck to neck, when it comes to their connection speeds.

Even though both have fast internet speeds, ExpressVPN is slightly faster than PrivateVPN.


Copyright infringement laws are getting tougher by the day in different countries.

You don’t want to be caught downloading copyrighted material.

So in order for you to stay safe, you need to ensure you only download torrent files when your are connected to either a vpn or a proxy server.

This ensures that your real IP address is hidden so that none of your torrenting activities can be traced back to you.

ExpressVPN supports torrenting on all of its servers.

So if you want to download a torrent file, you don’t need to connect to any special servers… just get started on any server you are on.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, support torrenting but only on certain servers.

If you want to download torrent files, you first need to select and connect to the appropriate P2P enable server from the server list.

Even though ExpressVPN seems to have better support for torrenting as it allows torrenting on all of its servers, both vpns will enable you to torrent anonymously as they do not keep any logs that could be used to identify you.

If you are looking for a vpn that is great for torrenting then ExpressVPN seems more optimized for this.

Privacy Policy

True privacy online is becoming a very rare commodity these days.

Even though vpns are supposed to make you invisible to your ISP and government, some vpns have gone rogue… they log your internet usage history and then sell it to the highest bidder.

In some cases they even hand over these logs to the government to use them against you in a court of law.

If you want your internet browsing to really be private, you need to use a vpn that does no store your logs.

So let’s compare PrivateVPN vs ExpressVPN in terms of their privacy and no logs policies to establish which offers real privacy online.

ExpressVPN, first of all, is based in the British Virgin Islands which does not form part of the 14 eyes countries.

Since the BVI does not have any mandatory data retention laws that obligate vpns to keep user logs, it is pretty much a safe location to base a vpn company.

After reading their privacy policy, I established that they do not keep logs of your IP address or DNS queries.

If they did, this information can easily be used to identify you and tie you to certain activities on their servers at any particular time.

However, after further reading, I also discovered that ExpressVPN collects a lot more connection logs about you.

Whenever you connect to any of their servers, ExpressVPN logs your actual location, ISP and bandwidth usage.

Even though they claim that this information cannot be used to identify you, I find ExpressVPN more log happy that I would like.

PrivateVPN, being based in Sweden, forms part of the 14 eyes countries that surveille their citizens and share this information among themselves.

So I wouldn’t say Sweden is a privacy friendly location to base a vpn service.

That notwithstanding, PrivateVPN is able to keep a strict no logs policy as they mention on their privacy that don’t keep any logs of your traffic.

I find this rather vague though.

PrivateVPN could specify what particular logs they keep and which ones they don’t because we know that every vpn needs some kinds of logs to operate.

For example, how do they ensure that you don’t exceed the maximum connected devices at the same time?

Even though I am quite skeptical about ExpressVPN considering the amount of connection logs that they keep, a security firm audited their system and established that there are no logs on ExpressVPN servers that could be used to identify you.

So if you are looking for a vpn that based proven to provide you privacy online, then I recommend ExpressVPN.

Encryption and Data Protection

Data encryption ensures that your data is secure even if it lands on the wrong hands.

Say for example, that a hacker hijacks your traffic and access the packets with your personal data…

They won’t be able to decrypt and see what the information really is if you used a tamper proof encryption technology.

Most vpns therefore use bullet proof encryption technologies to ensure that you personal information is secure whenever it is being transmitted.

ExpressVPN uses NSA recommended AES 256-bit encryption technology that is impossible to crack when encrypting your data.

It is this same encryption that is used by governments to encrypt classified information.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, supports both 128-bit and 256-bit encryption technologies when encrypting your data.

You have the option of choosing which encryption technology you want to use in the PrivateVPN applications.

Even though 256-bit encryption is stronger than 128-bit encryption, both encryption technologies are quite strong and have never been hacked before.

In addition to these encryption technologies, vpns also use various connection protocols in order to be able to communicate with each other.

ExpressVPN supports both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols when connecting to its servers.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, supports more connection protocols that include OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2/IPSec and PPTP.

Even though PrivateVPN supports more connection protocols than ExpressVPN, some protocols like PPTP should never be used as they’ve proven insecure and vulnerable to attacks.

However, you’ll discover that some vpns rely on the PPTP protocol to bypass China’s firewall.

If you are looking for a vpn that will guarantee the security of your data online, then either PrivateVPN or ExpressVPN will get the job done.

Ad Blocker

There are certain additional security features that a vpn needs in order to deliver a great user experience.

One of them is an ad blocker.

Since most websites are very aggressive with ads these days, there are times when you might want to just turn off these ads completely.

Even though some of these websites use ads as their primary revenue source, some of these ads can be very intrusive and annoying.

So how does ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN ad blocking capabilities compare?

Unfortunately, neither ExpressVPN nor PrivateVPN have an inbuilt ad blocker in any of their apps.

This is particularly a shame on ExpressVPN because it’s such an expensive vpn… so it should be able to at least deliver all the premium features.

To make matters even worse, none of these vpns have a malware blocker that can protect you from being infected by malware when browsing a malware infected website on phishing website.

If you are looking for a vpn with an ad and malware blocker then neither ExpressVPN nor PrivateVPN will cut it… you might want to consider NordVPN or CyberGhost vpn.

Dedicated IPs

All vpns will assign you a random shared IP address whenever you connect to the internet.

A dedicated IP, on the contrary enables you to connect to the internet using the same IP address every time.

This means that if you have a software that requires you to whitelist an IP before you can use it for remote access, you can take your dedicated IP and whitelist it in your application.

So which one supports dedicated IPs between ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN?

ExpressVPN, unfortunately, does not support any kind of vpn dedicated IPs.

So you don’t get to access the internet with an IP address that is dedicated only to you… all IPs will be shared among other vpn users.

PrivateVPN, luckily, has a dedicated IP address feature that enables you to connect to the internet always using the same IP.

In order to access the dedicated IP, click on the Torrenting/Dedicated IP option in the server list.

You’ll then get a list of servers that offer you a dedicated IP to select from.

If you are looking for a vpn that will provide you with a dedicated IP for your personal use then I recommend PrivateVPN.

Remember that if you want to stay anonymous then you need to stick to a shared IP.

This is because, since a dedicated IP is tied to you, it is easy to tie activities on these servers to you as well.

Kill Switch

If you never want to your real IP exposed ever at any time, then you need an automatic internet kill switch.

A kill switch will block internet access for your whole device in case your vpn app disconnects from the server.

This happens several times a day for example when you are switching servers or when your internet connection drops without you even realizing it.

It is during these few seconds that your real IP is leaked and you get discovered.

Especially if you were running some torrent downloads during this time and you are based in a country that frowns upon torrenting activities.

Both ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN have an inbuilt vpn kill switch that when turned on enables you to always be safe online.

It ensures that internet access for all apps on your device are encrypted and channelled through your vpn tunnel.

So in case your vpn app disconnects from the server for whatever reason, you won’t be able to access to internet until your vpn app reconnects to the server.

If you are looking for a vpn with an inbuilt kill switch then either PrivateVPN or ExpressVPN is a great option.

Split Tunnelling

A kill switch helps in ensuring that all your traffic is encrypted and channelled through your vpn at all times.

There are times though when you need to exempt certain applications from this kill switch in order for them to run smoothly.

It could be backup software that you don’t want slowed down by the speed drop that a vpn causes.

This is where a split tunnel comes.

A split enables you to specify or whitelist certain applications and prevent them from having their traffic channelled through the vpn.

Instead their traffic will be routed as usual through your ISP.

Note that traffic routed through your ISP does not benefit from the security and anonymity that a vpn provides.

While ExpressVPN has a split tunnel that enables you to exempt certain applications from the vpn, PrivateVPN does not have a split tunnel in any of its apps.

So if you are looking for the best vpn split tunnel then I recommend ExpressVPN.

Works in China?

A lot of people travel to China for various purposes.

However, it is a country where internet access is heavily controlled by the government and certain websites that you need access to on a daily basis like YouTube, Google, Facebook or even Twitter are blocked in China.

So you won’t normally be able to access these websites when it China.

As if that is not enough, you are also not allowed to try and use a vpn to circumvent this content censorship.

The great firewall of China is able to detect vpn traffic and either throttle or block it completely.

Does either ExpressVPN or PrivateVPN work in China?

ExpressVPN has a technology that is able to makes its vpn traffic fly under the radar of China’s firewall without being detected.

PrivateVPN, on the other hand, is also able to work in China thanks to its stealth technology that is able to bypass China’s firewall.

In order to access internet in China using PrivateVPN, you first need to change your vpn to stealth mode.

This way you’ll activate the stealth vpn that enables you to bypass the deep packet inspection technology of the firewall without being detected.

If you are looking for the best vpns for China then either ExpressVPN or PrivateVPN will do.


As we near the end of this PrivateVPN vs ExpressVPN review, let’s look at what it will cost you to use any of these vpns.

How much does PrivateVPN or ExpressVPN cost?

Most vpns offer you great discounts if you choose a long term plan, so don’t be scared by their month by month plan costs as most people rarely pay for a vpn that way.

ExpressVPN has 1 year plan which is their longest and cheapest plan that costs $ 8.32/month.

PrivateVPN has a 2 year plan, being their longest and cheapest plan, that goes for $ 2.55/month billable upfront.

I find having to look for a disposable email address and signup for an ExpressVPN every year that comes very cumbersome.

Only if they could offer longer plans like 2 or 3 years.

If you are looking for a vpn is cheaper and offers longer plans for your convenience then I recommend PrivateVPN.

Payment Options

Let’s finish this ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN comparison by looking at the different options that ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN provide.

We are particular going to look at which vpn actually provides anonymous payment options.

If you really want to be anonymous, start by giving as little information about you as possible when you are signing up for your vpn plan.

One way to achieve this is to use a disposable email address and pay with crypto like Bitcoins.

Both ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN support payments through all the major credit card, PayPal and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

So you get to make anonymous payments if you have a Bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin payments do not require you to provide your billing address which is required by other payment methods like credit cards.

If you are to stay anonymous with Bitcoin payments then either PrivateVPN or ExpressVPN are great options for you.

In Conclusion

We have come to this end of this ExpressVPN vs PrivateVPN comparison in 2021.

I hope this vpn comparison opened your eyes to some of the critical differences between ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN.

Are you now ready to make your choice between these two vpns?

If you are looking for a cheap vpn with great streaming capabilities and offers you more connection protocols then I recommend PrivateVPN.

However, if you are willing to pay a little bit more for a vpn with great torrenting support, works in China and has an inbuilt split tunnel then I recommend ExpressVPN.

Have you used either ExpressVPN or PrivateVPN before?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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